Noticing the Abundance
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., has helped millions of people overcome their fears and move forward in life with confidence and love. She is the author of FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY, OPENING OUR HEARTS TO MEN, THOUGHTS OF POWER AND LOVE, and END THE STRUGGLE AND DANCE WITH LIFE, among other books. As well as being a bestselling author, Susan is a popular workshop leader and public speaker and has been a guest on many radio and television shows. She has also created many audiocassettes on fear, relationships, and personal growth.
When I worked with the poor in New York City, I was always amazed at the gratefulness in the hearts of so many who, in a material sense, had very little. What were they grateful for? They were grateful to be alive, to have food on their table, to enjoy the sun on a beautiful day, to have their health, their friends, their family, and to be a contributing member of their community. At the same time, I was always amazed by the lack of gratefulness in the hearts of so many who, in a material sense, had so much. If you were to ask me which of the two were happier, without hesitation, I would say the poor with gratefulness in their hearts.
What I am talking about here is very simple: When we focus on abundance, our life feels abundant; when we focus on lack, our life feels lacking. It is purely a matter of focus.
It is true that we can't be in denial about the pain in our life. That is damaging to our physical and emotional health. And just as importantly, We can't be in denial about the abundance in our life! I suggest that you create a "Book of Abundance" for yourself. Each night before you go to bed, jot down at least 50 wonderful things that happened to you that day. "Fifty things, Susan! I can hardly
think of three!" Obviously, you have not been noticing the blessings in your life! The purpose of this exercise is to help you do so. Some of the items you can include are: My car started • I am able to walk • I have food to eat • Someone paid me a compliment • My kids haven't gotten into any trouble today • I felt the sun's warmth on my face • I spoke to one of my best friends • The flowers are starting to bloom • I have hot water in my shower • I'm breathing • The sun came out The items in your Book of Abundance do not have to be splashes of brilliance. In fact, it is better if they are not. Always keep in mind that if we focus only on the splashes of brilliance, so much of our life will seem drab... which it definitely is not! Take breathing, for example. Isn't it incredibly, wildly extraordinary?! In the beginning, finding these 50 things to be grateful for may take a LONG, LONG time. Soon, however, the blessings will pour easily onto the paper. That is because you will spend much of the day LOOKING FOR the blessings in your life so that you will have new material to add to your Book of Abundance that night. And you will find them! The benefits are obvious... As you start looking for the good, your focus automatically is taken off the bad... and you feel blessed! If you can make noticing the abundance a habit, your life will be transformed! I remember sitting with my mom in her living room on a cold, dreary winter day just months before she died. She was in much pain and was feeling very weak. At one point when I was in pain about her pain, she looked at me and said, "It's cold outside... I'm warm and cozy inside. My daughter is here... sometimes you get lucky." Wow! I was focusing on her pain. She was focusing on her blessings. Thanks, Mom, for that beautiful lesson!
Louise L. Hay Gratitude – a Way of Life London, Hay House UK, 1996